Spending + Saving + Selling: Money Tips for Your Online Holiday Shopping Trips

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We have a saying in our house. Well, my husband has a saying in our house: “You’re not saving money if you’re spending it.” Lucky for my hubby, I am a savvy spender. I’m carrying around a handbag filled with tricks; each and every pocket hides a super-saving secret. I knew I had to get financially creative to afford all the glorious things my little heart desired. After leaving the workforce to be with my daughters full-time, I needed to be resourceful. This tutorial will set your bank account up for a happy holiday season, and, hopefully allow for some self-care splurges as a reward for “saving” so much!

Ebates

Two years ago, I signed up for an Ebates account and have accumulated over $800 in cash back! I joined right before Christmas shopping (hint, hint). I was immediately hooked after I saw how that money defrayed our costly holiday purchases. Upon creating an account, you’ll be able to click businesses’ website links through the Ebates site to initiate a percentage back. For instance, if I want to buy boots at Macy’s, I can click the Macy’s link on the Ebates website to activate 10% cash back as it redirects me to shop. After checking out, a notification that cash will be added to my account will pop up. Ebates offers a bonus of up to 15% to accept an e-gift card to one of their partners; otherwise, I’ve linked my PayPal account to Ebates for a quarterly direct deposit of my earnings. Cha-ching!

Honey

Honey and Ebates work in tandem on my laptop. Both money saving sites offer a button “extension” to be added to your web browser with a simple download. This allows easy access and a visible reminder to use these vehicles for their magical cost saving and earning powers. Honey will prompt you when there are better prices available while shopping on Amazon. Also, it offers the ability to add items to a personal “drop-list” for price-watching. Honey will e-mail an alert when the price drops below a certain amount after X number of days as designated by you. In addition, Honey prompts coupon codes at over 20,000 websites! Remember the days of Googling for coupons? This tool eliminates the aimless searching and failed attempts at expired codes.

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Consignment Websites

While garage sales and eBay are still viable options for selling, they are things of the past. The introduction of more consignment websites has changed the fabric of buying and selling in the high-end and authentic luxury item web space. Sites such as Poshmark, ThredUp, The RealReal, and Tradesy offer the ability to consign or sell at your own pace with reasonable fees assessed at the completion of a transaction. I have made purchases on The RealReal and saved hundreds of dollars on designer pieces. It’s a great avenue to explore if you’re in the market for luxury this holiday season. Poshmark is a convenient app for selling. After downloading the app, take clean and clear pictures of the pieces you’d like to sell. Post them with a detailed listing and watch the offers stream in. 

Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade Groups

Buy/Sell/Trade groups have skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years. There is no better way to make quick cash than to turn your trash into someone else’s treasure via Facebook. I have joined and participated in several hundred BST groups. There are national and international pages, which require you to package and ship your items. There are also local “swap” pages. In my community, upon selling a/n item/s, they are placed on the porch for pickup by the interested party. Payment options are listed with the item/s for sale and often include cash, PayPal, or Venmo. Provided that your buyer is a decent human being, they will pickup their goodies within 48 hours of expressed interest. Don’t hold your breath, though, as people are just as courteous when it comes to swaps as they are on the roads. 

Mix and match these resources to maximize your earnings and savings this year! Play your cards right, and you’ll have a new handbag filled with tips and tricks, too!

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